The centre of the Sooke Road roundabout is in need of a centre piece

Artwork for Sooke roundabout still a year away

But that’s not stopping the beautification project from going ahead.

A decision on what to put in the middle of roundabout on Sooke Road won’t be made for at least a year, say district officials.

But that’s not stopping the beautification project from going ahead.

Recently work crews decorated boulevard and public spaces leading to the roundabout with native plants and rock work. Work on the roundabout will begin soon.

Coun. Brenda Parkinson said the Sooke Program for the Arts, also known as SPA, wants just the plantings and rock work in the roundabout the first year, and decide later on a more “substantial piece.”

That’s not to say some proposals haven’t come to the committee and district council, said Parkinson, a member of SPA.

The committee has heard two presentations – one from a metal artist, another from a chainsaw carver – and about 15 submitted ideas, including one by Sooke resident Curtis Campbell, who suggest moving the logger’s pole from Sooke Flats to the centre of the roundabout.

“Some of the new residents of Sooke will not be able to relate to the significance of this Sooke artifact, but I am sure a lot of you will see why it is important and that is remembering the people who built this community,” wrote Campbell in a letter to council.

Parkinson pointed out many of the submitted ideas were for plantings.

“I think everyone needs to be patient. There were so many complaints about the roundabout, now hardly anyone complains. I’m sure it will be the same with decorating it,” she said.

Mayor Maja Tait hopes the SPA committee will continue to get feedback over the next year, pointing out some people don’t want to see anything in the roundabout.

The Ministry of Transportation needs to be consulted for placement of anything within the roundabout due to viewpoints and sight lines that may hinder traffic.

The multi-million-dollar roundabout project has been delayed several times due to weather. Construction of the roundabout was completed last fall and the beautification project was expected to be finished last March.

Tait said there are still some outstanding issues with the roundabout that district staff is working on with the ministry and contractors.

“There are still a few things here and there, but generally we’re taking a step in the right direction.”